‘Ice’, Collage by Clare Willmey (2016)
“In the collage, that’s all ice. There’s a thawing out of the past. It’s like I’m breaking free of my old life and my old patterns and then going into this completely unknown new world and new life that is yet to be created. Which of the women is me? None them, and all of them. The empty eyes represent a different way of seeing. The people are thoughts and the seals are also me – making breathing holes in the ice. If the hole is big enough they can get out so they can exist on both planes. The seals are quite angelic, the one going up towards the light is a comfortable and peaceful figure”.
‘Ice’ was made during ‘Piecing it Together’, a participatory art project based at North and South Camden NHS Foundation Trust Acute Day Units. During 2015 artist, Alexa Wright led weekly workshops for service users at the two centres in which participants were encouraged to use collage as a direct, visual means to communicate their recent experiences. Some people also continued to work with Alexa on a 1-1 basis to create small photo-text books about their experiences. As well as providing individuals recovering from acute mental difficulties with a means of coming to terms with what happened to them, the project aimed to challenge stigma around mental health more generally.
We are always looking for interesting and visually appealing images for the cover of the Journal and would welcome suggestions or pictures, which should be sent to Dr Allan Beveridge, British Journal of Psychiatry, 21 Prescot Street London E1 8BB, UK or firstname.lastname@example.org.